The first Paragon Challenger Series (PCS) Open event took place over the 20-22nd January, here’s our summary of what went down in the first open event!
The PCS Open began on Friday 20th January, with a starting round of qualifier games to break down the field of the 11 teams that entered (some of which are pictured above). After 4 rounds of intense actions featuring teams both new and old, 6 moved on to the groups – Carbon EU, Clint Eastwood eSports (CEE), Rippo Hippo eSports (RHE), Team Nettle, Final Gaming and Nerf Irelia. Teams qualified based on how many games they won against teams that ranked higher than them, so losing to a lower ranked opponent often meant not qualifying. At the end of the 4 qualifying rounds, Carbon EU came away with a perfect 4-0 win/loss rate, with CEE, RHE and Team Nettle only dropping one game each. Here are some of our highlights and great moments from the qualifying rounds!
After the qualifiers, the PCS Open continued, progressing into the group stages with 2 groups of 3 teams. Group 1 consisted of Carbon EU, Team Nettle and Nerf Irelia, with group 2 made up of RHE, CEE and Final Gaming.
Both groups played 3 matches, enough that each team plays ever other, and in group 1, Carbon EU came away with a clear 2-0 lead, with Team Nettle picking up a game against Nerf Irelia to give them a 1-1 score, with Nerf Irelia sadly relegated, leaving Team Nettle and Carbon EU to progress onto the finals.
Group 2 shaped up in a similar way, with CEE taking the 2-0 lead with RHE bringing in the 1-1, leaving newer team Final Gaming unable to qualify. All 4 of the qualifying teams are experienced players, some of which have shuffled around, many familiar faces from the first PCS Invitational. As always, its great to see new teams in the competitive scene, but it comes and no big surprise that heavyweights such as Carbon EU and reformed teams comprised of ex-Synergy and Team Oxygen players like RHE and Clint Eastwood are progressing on to the playoffs of the PCS Open. Here are some of our highlights from the group stage games!
After a gruelling set of group matches, 4 teams emerged to play in the semi-finals, with one team taking the pride, glory and 60% of the PCS Open prize pool home.
Semi-finals number 1 was Carbon EU versus RHE, but for all their best efforts, RHE couldn’t stop the bulldozer team. Carbon EU kept their cool and managed to pick up a clean 2-0 sweep, leaving RHE in the 3rd place match while Carbon EU progressed to the finals.
It was a similar story in semi-finals 2, with CEE able to dominate Team Nettle against all the pressure that Team Nettle put on in the last games. CEE took the series in another clean 2-0 sweep, moving on to face Carbon EU in the finals, with Team Nettle and RHE to play off in the 3rd place series.
With Clint Eastwood eSports and Carbon EU in the finals, it was set to be a showdown to remember. Game 1 was a tense affair, both teams picking up key objectives and targets, but one wrong move from Carbon EU was all it took for CEE to take the edge, knock down a tier 2 tower and press on to take the first game. The bar had been set. Carbon EU needed to win the second game, or their hopes of retaining their PCS Champion status would be dashed. However, it seems that Carbon EU had a serious pep talk and came back with all guns blazing, a relentless assault that left CEE no room to move and even less room to win. Carbon EU managed to tie the series at 1-1. The third game was for all the marbles, and for the lion’s share of the PCS Open prize pool, as well as the title of EU and PCS Champions. A tied series meant either team could take the whole tournament, and from what we had seen earlier, the games had been too close to call form the outset. Alas, it was not to be this time round for Clint Eastwood eSports, as Carbon EU buckled down hard, bouncing back from their early loss to co-ordinate like never before. With successful ambushes, tower takes and team fights, Carbon was able to storm the core to close CEE out of the series and take a 2-1 victory!
Congratulations to all teams that took part, both new and old, and of course a huge thank you to the dedicated admin team working tirelessly to make the PCS a reality. The next PCS Open will be spread over 10-12th February, to take part, fill out the sign-up form! We hope to see you next time for another fantastic Paragon event!